Software Defined Networking (SDN) – Hype or Value?

SDN is the new buzzword that is making its way through the data center circles. While many still think that there is a lot of hype, it is time to start preparing for gaining the best value from this new technology. Current market leaders in SDN are VMware and Cisco offering their innovative solutions, along with a multitude of start-up companies. Open source is also gaining momentum as the need for a unified vision emerges. A standardized SDN controller is very much a possibility of the future as all parties come together under a common umbrella.

SDN Today – How, What and Who?

Software Defined Networking (SDN) – Hype or Value?SDN has the potential to bring about greater flexibility and efficiency as compared to traditional networking, along with significantly lower costs. The entire idea behind SDN is that applications should have the ability to directly communicate their needs with the network, leading to speedy delivery and easier traffic management. Today, there are two major SDN solutions, one from Cisco and the other from VMware. The Linux Foundation has also started an open source project called OpenDaylight (ODL). It aims to create a baseline for SDN with standardization and act as a reference for other network vendors to build upon. The main driving factor is to create a controller that applications can communicate with and, in turn, communicates with the underlying network.

SDN Tomorrow – Preparing for SDN

Even though SDN is in its infancy as of today, organizations need to be aware that it could very much be a reality in the future. Most CIOs are keeping in mind that any new investments in hardware and software should be SDN capable. Investing in hardware that can be programmatically configured via a script or controller, instead of needing human interaction, is the way to prepare for the future. However, this doesn’t mean the human component isn’t important to figuring out how to best store your data. Another important aspect to keep in mind is the interoperability amongst vendors. Products should be able to integrate well with software controllers such as Cisco APIC controller, VMware NSX and OpenDaylight. SDN will also bring about a shift in employee skills, especially for network engineers.

Lifeline Data Centers is always staying on top of the latest trends, compliance issues and software/hardware updates in order to provide our customers with the most secure place to house your data. Contact us today for more information.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.